Eph 1 question

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by jw, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. jw

    jw
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    Honestly, I'm not trying to get in on the Calvinism debate. I know what I believe, and I'll leave it at that.

    Just trying to figure out verse 1:12 in Ephesians. Who is Paul speaking of? The Jews or all believers? And based on how you interpret that, how does that effect the meaning of the passage?

    Calvinist and non-elect can both answer ;) (Just joking about the non-elect part, couldn't resist putting in a little jab [​IMG] )

    Ephesians 1:1-12 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.
     
  2. russell55

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    Neither. He's speaking specifically to the Ephesian Christians, so the statement about the first to hope in Christ would include both Jews and gentiles who believed in Ephesus, and of course Paul himself, and probably by extensions all the other believers at the time Paul wrote this.

    Well, if you think people were saved differently then than they are now, and that there is a different purpose to our salvation than theirs, then it might affect how you interpret the passage. I've seen it done.

    I don't think there's any warrant in scripture to do it. I think what we learn about the salvation of the church in the first century applies to us as well.
     
  3. jw

    jw
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    Here's something from Snodgrass:
    Really the second part of the question (how this effects interpretation) really only applies if you take the view that he was speaking of Jewish beliers.
     
  4. russell55

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    the reference is to Jewish Christians.

    That is a reasonable interpretation of the passage, as far as it goes. But unless you think that early Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians were saved in different ways, how would it really affect anything? Isn't the point of Ephesians that Gentiles both inherit the promises by the will of God (who works all things according to the counsel of his will) through the work of Christ, which redeems both Jews and Gentiles?

    Paul's message seems to be, "We came first, and now you are coming in the same way, because in Christ there is no difference."
     
  5. Helen

    Helen
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    jw, the book of Ephesians was written to "the saints in Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ Jesus." Historically, this generation of people in the first century was the first to hope in Christ Jesus. Before that, the hope was in the Promise of the Messiah. But when Christ came as Jesus, then hope could be specifically put in Him as a Person who was known. The Apostles were the first to know Him as Messiah and then came Pentecost and then Paul -- these were the first and the others rapidly followed.
     

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